Why Air Conditioners in Offices Top My Hate List
Office air conditioners were never designed, or are operated keeping women workers in mind.
The weather in New Delhi is awesome right now. Overcast skies, yet no heavy rains, but breezy. As I stare outside my office building, how I wish I was out there than sitting in front of my computer. Not because I don’t want to work (Okay. FINE. Maybe). It’s because I’m freezing, hoping that the words arrange themselves into coherent sentences.
That’s right, I’m not the only one who’s got her denim jacket on when it’s 32 degrees outside. I look around and see many of my female colleagues either draped in shawls (mind you, woollen shawls) and jackets. Some have even kept their woollen booties under their desk. So much so, it’s easier to identify a woman’s workdesk than a man’s because, there’s always chair with a jacket hung on it.
Meanwhile, men are just being men, chilling in their cotton shirts, sleeves rolled-up.
So here’s why I hate the freaking low AC that freezes my brain.
It’s Getting Cold in Here
How does one even work if she’s layered up? Socks, jackets, shawls and whatnot. If you think that’s the only problem, it’s not. It’s freaking irritating when you have colleagues coming up to you and asking, “You’re feeling that cold, Aah?”.
I nod politely.
My Inner Voice: “No, you fool. I love dressing like a polar bear in summer.”
Take a Break
I’m on my third cup of tea as I write this article. Given that you can surely imagine how many times I would have warmed the toilet seat. You think it’s funny? No, it’s NOT. There is a momentum with which you write, and suddenly there is another that’s building up inside you. You tend to lose the flow. What could be worse is, every time your superior wants to have a word with you regarding an article, you’re not at your desk. And you could be tagged as “that girl who takes too many breaks”.
Changing Mercury Levels
It’s a known fact that sudden changes in temperature inevitably make you sick. So imagine nine hours of your day spent in Alaska-like temperatures (your office), and another 5 in temperatures that probably prevail in the Thar Desert (the scorching Delhi heat). You’lll obviously fall sick! And one fine day you realise that you’ve used up all your sick leaves.
Cold-struck workers make more errors and are less productive, according to Alan Hedge, professor of design and environmental analysis and director of Cornell’s Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory, who studied office temperatures about a decade ago, quoted in the Washington Post.
So please, if you spot any errors in this article, forgive me, you know the reason behind them.
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